Fanu: Coffee Crazy EP *Exclusive Release*

07.02

Introducing Coffee Crazy, the brand new EP from Helsinki-based musician Fanu. The new 5-track album is inspired by the musician’s love of coffee and the creative fuel it provides to so many artists of every talent. DCILY is excited to be the first to share this album with Fanu listeners, new and old. So grab a fresh cup and dive into the beats.

Perky Percolator Jam – kicks off the jam with playful vibes, rolling breaks, and a double bass line, making you feel as perky as if you had just gulped down good sips of that percolator brew.

Above Waters – describes the ethereal vibe you have while on a coffee high, making you feel like you’re floating above the sea.

Bad Coffee – got its name from a bad coffee experience Fanu had at St. Petersburgtrain station. Fanu had to put the horror into some kind of form to get it out of his system, and this is the result.

Espresso Deluxe – a sweet combination of rich yet smooth elements that lets you savor the subtlety and intricacy you might find in a classy cup of good-quality coffee.

Mocca Overdose – another case of putting bad experiences into musical form. Fanu downed two percolators worth of mocca + a few cups of filter coffee in a few hours (true story!), and the result was very heavy and brooding that seemed to last a little too long – just like this track. Enjoy with caution!

Fanu is originally from the north of Finland where much of the year it’s dark, cold and the people drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world. Now based in Helsinki, Fanu has continued his musical explorations stemming from his love for breakbeat and electronic music that began as a teenager, while being inspired by The Future Sound of London, DJ Shadow, Source Direct, Photek and Amon Tobin.

This album integrates coarse ground layers beneath the smooth flowing beats of a double bass that capture the joy in a great cup of coffee as well as the dark brooding moods that make you need one. I truly hope the EP finds further definition in a full length.

 

Download the full Coffee Crazy EP on NoiseTrade. If you enjoy it, be sure to tip!

FanuMusic.com
Fanu on Facebook
Fanu on Twitter

posted by on 07.02.2012, under Misc.

Birds of Unusual Vitality: Portraits in Coffee

12.19

Despite what the recent Samsung commercial would have you think, baristas and so many others in the coffee industry tend to be a highly creative group of individuals. I’m not sure where the correlation stems from exactly, but DCILY was founded on the principle that coffee inspires creativity and each day I’m more convinced of that.

Eileen P. Kenny is one of the latest artist/barista (or is it barista/artist?) who I’ve discovered creating great coffee inspired art. She is a twenty-two year old photographer who’s been making coffee since she was sixteen. Part-way through getting a Masters in Advertising, she decided to leave school to pursue what she already knew she was passionate about and began working with Seven Seeds Coffee (and soon Market Lane).

The project, aptly titled “Birds of Unusual Vitality,” is a collection of portraits & essays about passionate and unique individuals in specialty coffee, beginning with Melbourne’s Angus Gibbs, Jason Scheltus, Talor Browne and Mark Free.

Specialty coffee is an industry filled with fascinating people from every corner of the world and every background you can imagine.

The aim of Birds of Unusual Vitality is to shine a light on these baristas, roasters, farmers, pickers, workers, and everyone involved the process of coffee production, from start to finish. I want the passion for great coffee and the pursuit of quality and sustainability to spread beyond those who work in coffee—I think that getting insight into the people who have that passion is a great place to start.

The project has no expected end date and Kenny’s growing list of desired subjects expands well beyond Melbourne to include such coffee notables as Susie Spindler, Ben Kaminsky and Brent Fortune. Kenny shared her project ambitions with DCILY:

In the long term, I’d also like to go to origin and interview farmers, tracing the coffee’s journey in reverse; essentially, starting at where I am now (making coffee and tasting it), all the way back to those who are harvesting and processing and basing their livelihoods on the quality of their next crop.

This is such a great project that can capture the true diversity of backgrounds within the industry. If there ever were a specialty coffee related project fit for Kickstarter (or IndieGoGo)—turning these photos and stories into a lovely book is one I think would garner a fair bit of support from around the world.

You can view select portraits and read their stories at Birds of Unusual Vitality. Below is an exclusive look at a few of the photos left on the dark room floor. Enjoy.

Birds of Unusual Vitality

 

posted by on 12.19.2011, under Interviews, Misc.

DunneFrankowski Launches Tonight in London

12.14

If you’re in London tonight and love coffee, there’s really no other place you should be then at Protein, for the triple threat launch of DunneFrankowski the company, DunneFrankowski’s Independent Coffee Book (London edition), and Protein by DunneFrankowski—the coffee bar (18 Hewett Street).

There’s going to be beer, food, and DJ’s tonight and the coffee shop will be open to the public during the day from 8am to 4pm. I’ve already looked into RyanAir flights, but I sadly won’t be making a last minute trip to the UK.

DunneFrankowski is a partnership between Victor Frankowski and Rob Dunne (a participant at Coffee Common in Edinburgh) who aim to intersect various genres of culture through the medium of the café. Go meet the fellows, check out the new café and get a preview of London’s latest coffee book.

DunneFrankowski

posted by on 12.14.2011, under Design, Misc.

Enjoying the Variance of Craft Coffee

05.23

One of my favorite things about great coffee, is that no two are the same. For many years I thought coffee always tasted like “coffee.” Now, as my girlfriend begins to enjoy coffee with me, she describes bad coffee as tasting like “coffee.” Which usually means she isn’t tasting the coffee at all, just the roast. However, there is a growing segment of the industry who focus on roast levels that accentuate the coffees terroir—the natural environment including soil, topography and climate that affect its unique flavors—instead of trying to replicate a uniform taste with dark roasts and blends.

When you visit coffee shops who brew these coffees, they often do so one cup at a time—ensuring a fresh cup is made just for you. Baristas use a vareity of manual methods that not only bring out the best in the coffee, but also create a bit of theater allowing you an opportunity to engage them with your curiosity. This also prevents you from getting a cup of overheated swill from a giant batch pot that you have no idea how long has been sitting there.

This approach to coffee has been called many things, most commonly the “Third Wave.” But a new company called Craft Coffee, has taken a step towards defining it for consumers in a more understandable way. This start-up has developed a subscription based model that brings an evolving array of artisan coffees—that are craft roasted in small batches—right to your door each month. This allows connoisseurs a chance to indulge in a variety of great coffees, while giving beginners a fantastic way to explore and discover new coffees and roasters. It’s a win for everyone.

The Craft Coffee box comes with three 4oz bags, giving you enough for 6-8 cups of each coffee. Every bag is marked with information about the roaster, producer, origin, varietal, elevation, process and tasting notes. An extra notecard elaborates a bit more on each coffee giving you more insight into where it came from and why it was chosen.

Colombian coffee crops have been devastated by unrelenting weather and punishing floods. Which makes this coffee, a Caturra varietal, grown by Didier Reinoso on a small farm in the mountains of Las Mercedes, Herrera—where he also grows avocados, plantains, yucas and herbs—all the more exceptional.

The first box included the following coffees:

Gimme! Coffee: Caranavi Bolivia
MadCap Coffee Company: Las Mercedes, Colombia
Coava Coffee Roasters: Chalalacktu, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

I would personally recommend any of these roasters, so it was a treat to have all three in one box. It made for a fantastic weekend of coffee tasting. This format allows a great opportunity for boxes to be specially curated, or even present the same coffee roasted by different roasters, creating new experiences and encouraging new exploration in coffee.

One thing I found curiously absent from the package where roast dates on the coffee. I know Mike & Mike, and spent time with them a week prior to their first shipment. They are both detail oriented and grasp the value of such a detail, so I can only assume they forgot or are still working out the logistics. Every bag is hand packed with love, so I can understand if certain steps may not have found their way into the system yet.

Overall, Craft Coffee is an affordable luxury that combines elements of surprise with culinary excellence and better understanding of the beverage we all love.

Get on next month’s list at CraftCoffee.com


Enjoy some photos from behind the scenes courtesy of Mike White.


 

 

posted by on 05.23.2011, under Misc., Products, Recommended Roasters

Storyville – Chapter 1: Hardware

12.17

Storyville is a small coffee company in Seattle, Washington doing big things. Their mission is simple, “the best beans, artfully roasted, and rushed to your door while they’re still fresh.” They only offer one coffee, a regular blend called Prologue and its decaf counterpart, aptly named Epilogue. The goal at Storyville is not to offer the newest or largest selection of blends and origins, but instead provide the fresh and consistent cup of everyday coffee that their costumers enjoy. They also make an effort to educate new customers about the crimes of “Big Coffee” and their bitter, over-roasted beans.

Storyville knows that in order to best enjoy fresh coffee, you need to have a few essentials—a good grinder and a press pot. That’s where their newest, soon to be released, offering comes into play. Introducing Storyville Hardware—or as I call it, “the mind-blowing home coffee transformation kit.” It provides you with the elements needed to grant you freedom from bad coffee.

When I first discovered Storyville a few years ago, the high quality of their design made a lasting first impression. It’s obvious that design shapes every aspect of the company, even though none of the owners are formally trained in the arts. From their identity, packaging, and website—to their roasting studio, which looks more like a Maserati showroom than a roastery. There is an attention to detail you don’t often find in the coffee industry and the design and experience of opening the Hardware package is no exception. If Apple started a coffee company, it would look like Storyville.

When brewing at home, the most important thing you need after fresh roasted coffee, is a solid burr grinder. The consistency of the grind will make all the difference in the extraction, while excess powder from a poor grind can add unwanted sediment and bitterness. So Storyville built a custom grinder to provide this vital piece of equipment.

I spoke with Chad Turnbull, Co-President of Storyville and he told me that they collaborated with a German designer, think BMW and Porsche, to help develop their grinder. The construction is solid, and the body design is more streamlined than similar grinders on the market, while reflecting the essence of the Storyville brand. The internal components are on par with those of a Baratza Virtuoso. It includes a timed on switch, but no pulse button. The polished finish and laser-etched logos are a beautiful touch that almost make you want to cherish it more than use it.

After you grind the beans, you need a proper way to brew. There really isn’t an easier way than with a press pot. It’s one of the most basic and transparent brewing methods, that’s difficult to mess up. No paper filters to impair the taste, and nowhere for bad beans to hide. The oils that aren’t filtered out by the mesh, provide full flavor in the cup while a bit of sediment adds a pleasant texture to the body.

While you can pick up a basic press for about $20, Storyville wanted something that would look nice on the counter next to their grinder. So they partnered with Bodum to offer a custom, 12-cup Columbia press pot. The stainless steel matches the accents on the grinder, and it makes enough coffee to serve everyone at your dinner party.

The design and consideration doesn’t stop at the packaging and the products, but continues through the literature as well. The instruction guides are nicely illustrated with pleasant typography to guide you through using, cleaning and maintaining each piece of hardware. When an instruction guide is so beautiful that you actually want to read it all the way through, it says something for the power of design.

On Monday, I’ll talk more about some unique things Storyville is doing as a company, as well as review the coffee itself. Until then, check out their website to watch a video tour of their amazing roasting studio and a fun parody about ex-employees of “Big Coffee.”

Visit Storyville Coffee

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posted by on 12.17.2010, under Design, Products